Press Release - Detail
Contact: Chanda Temple, Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
Phone: (205) 444-9279 (cell)
Birmingham Public Library to Host Holocaust Lecture Series in March
Birmingham, Ala. – (March 3, 2014) - When the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center started in 2002, there were about 35 Holocaust survivors living in Birmingham. Today, there are about 16 in Birmingham. Just a few days ago, the oldest, known-living Holocaust survivor died at the age of 110 in London.
The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and the Birmingham Public Library realize the last-living Holocaust survivors are dying more and more every year, which is why they continue to keep survivors and their stories before the public. Every Wednesday in March at 12 p.m., the two groups will present a Holocaust lecture in the Arrington Auditorium of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place. The lectures are free.
“We are doing what we can to preserve the history and the knowledge,’’ says Phyllis Weinstein, president of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. “Even people who feel like they know about the Holocaust can always learn something new.’’ (The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to keeping the history and the lessons of the Holocaust alive.)
The lectures will be held on March 5, 12, 19 and 26. Survivors will speak on March 12 and 19.
On March 12, Ann Mollengarden will host a discussion with her 88-year-old father, physician Robert May of Birmingham. They will discuss his experience in Nazi Germany. “Many people think of Holocaust survivors only in terms of Nazi ghettos and concentration camps. But a Holocaust survivor is anyone who experienced life under Nazi domination,’’ says Mollengarden, education vice president of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center.
On March 19, Max Herzel, 83, will speak. He had at least 13 relatives to perish in concentration camps. He will share postcards, a, diary he kept and materials he’s never shared about his past. He escaped from Belgium when he was 10.
“We are really, right now, delving deeper into their stories. The two survivors will be revealing more personal stories,’’ says Mollengarden. “It’s vital that we document these experiences so that future generations can learn from these past experiences.’’
“This is the last generation that will be able to give first-hand accounts of their stories,’’ says Mollengarden. “You may not get another opportunity to ask those personal questions from the Holocaust survivors.’’
The March 5 speaker will be Shades Valley history teacher Amy McDonald, who’s received national recognition - the Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous - for her Holocaust education program. She will share her deep commitment and reasons for teaching the Holocaust.
March 26 will feature the screening of the new, 38-minute film “The Path to Nazi Genocide.’’ Using rare footage, the film examines the Nazis’ rise and consolidation of power in Germany. It also explores the Nazis’ ideology, propaganda and persecution of Jews and other victims.
This is the 10th year the center and the library have partnered on the series. Past events have included exhibits, display windows and workshops. For more information about the center, please visit www.bhamholocausteducation.org. For more information about the library, visit www.bplonline.org.
To schedule interviews with Mollengarden or others, please contact Chanda Temple at 205-444-9279.